Island Explorers Curriculum Home


Unit 4

Lesson Plan 1

Lesson Plan 2

Lesson Plan 3

Lesson Plan 4

Lesson Plan 5


Concepts/Objectives | Vocabulary/Background | Activity | Extension


Lesson Plan 1






  • Have a discussion of how we are part of the biosphere and depend on the sea.
  • Ask for ideas of what a "resource" is and ask for examples (trees, minerals, oil, water, etc.)
  • What do the words "renewable" and "non-renewable" mean? Place those definitions on the board. Using students' resource examples, decide which are renewable and which are nonrenewable.
  • Next make two columns on the board: "renewable" and "nonrenewable" and leave them blank, they will be filled in during the activity.
  • Then divide the class into groups of 4.



  1. Working in groups brainstorm things we use from the sea (ex: fish, kelp, krill, minerals, oil, pharmaceuticals) and what we use these things for. List these on your Marine Resources Worksheet List (or a blank piece of notebook paper).
  2. Make a list on the board of some of the student's ideas and talk about what they are and how we get them. As you list the resources, ask the students if they are either "renewable" or "nonrenewable," and place in the appropriate column.
  3. Pass out one set country cards to each group (All groups should have the same set of 4 cards.) and a "resource" (candies/items). From the list on the board you will most likely have the resources listed in the "materials" section of this lesson plan, if not then make suggestions in order to end up with 6 or 7 different resources (depending on class size).
  4. Each student in the group gets a country card. Read to class: "The card contains a description of some basic conditions of your imaginary country. You will pretend that you are representing your country at a world conference on how to handle the world's marine resources. You have to make decisions about how to use /share that particular global resource (oil, fisheries, kelp, etc.) with the other countries in your group. Consider your country's needs, the amount of resources available, and if it is renewable or non renewable. List your ideas and the reasons for your decisions on your Marine Resources Worksheet. Come up with a group decision."
  5. Have a representative from each "Resource Conference" group describe how their group of countries decided to deal with dealing with their resource.
    • (Do we cut them up into smaller pieces so each country has a little less?
    • Should some of the countries simply go without?
    • Do we take turns for who goes without?
    • Should none of the countries have use of the resource?
    • Are there other ways to get more or similar resources?)


  1. What kind of problems can we have when we take resources from the sea? (Shortages: from over consumption; overfishing. Impact on the ocean environment: pollution from harvesting methods for oil/minerals; altering habitat [for example, if we take too much kelp ])
  2. As we use these resources up how can that affect other animals in the sea? (Examples: Who eats krill [small shrimp-like animals]? [Some whales] The Japanese harvest krill, what do you think might happen to the whales if too much of this resource is used? [Remind students of the food web] What about kelp? We use kelp to make ice cream. Who eats or lives in kelp? [fish, sea otters, sea urchins, etc. ]They would be affected if too much kelp was lost.)
  3. How does this work in the real world/how do we conserve our resources? (Suggestions: Fish: catch limits [numbers and size], licensing, regulated 'seasons'. Have regulated kelp cultivation. There is very little regulation of marine pharmaceuticals, we could do more in that area. Pollution issues can be addressed by reducing or stopping off -shore oil drilling and improving and enforcing laws about how it can be safely done if it is done at all.)
  4. What are possible solutions? (New alternative resources [ex: whale oil is no longer needed)] new technologies, conservation and better management practices.)
  5. Should we not take any resources? (This would create other types of problems such as hunger, transportation and economic problems. Also, some cultures rely on certain resources. Without these resources that culture might not exist the in the same way.)